Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why would a simple run make me crabby?

I’m in a bad mood.

I’m not slamming doors, stomping on ants or crying into a half gallon of Rocky Road. It’s not that sort of mood.

I’m in the sort of bad mood that has me overreacting like this:
~Seriously? Are you the dumbest person on the planet?
~How many times can I say I need this verbatim on your resume? I do not want you to paraphrase. No one understands a single thing you’ve written.
~Right: “You can’t miss it” is always a sure sign that it will be missed.
~If you drive like that during rush hour, you deserve to be a nervous wreck.
~Those are the ugliest shoes I have ever seen on a human being.
~Who the hell would pierce a cat’s ears? You should be in jail.
~WHY does your cell phone answer to a song? No one wants to listen to that. Get rid of it immediately.

Maybe I ate something aggressive for breakfast.

I am training for the half marathon and while my mileage is good my time apparently stinks. This has me stewing. Can you tell?

Have I mentioned that I can’t find my Garmin watch? I’m completely at loose ends over this. Can you tell?

Who needs to find her watch, get some sleep, eat some carbs and figure out how to run faster than she can walk?

Here’s how it happened. Here’s the scoop.

Last night I went to a beginner’s running group. I was nervous about it because I’ve never run with anyone and I was worried they would all run faster than me. I felt bold when I got into my car and left the relative comfort of my own neighborhood. I thought this would be good for me to step out of my comfort zone. You know, meet people who run.

I hated it: a bad situation from beginning to end. I have run 8 miles the last two Saturdays, so I know I can do this. I can run. It’s slow, but it’s prettier than it used to be. I ran 21 miles last week. Last night I just wanted a 5-mile run.

When I got there I noticed right away that no one was talking to each other. This group has been running together since spring. I sort of expected people to act like they knew each other. I overheard a conversation between two women and it really sounded as if they had never spoken before or had only just met.

I ended up with a 4.36 mile run because of one stupid thing after another. First the entire group ran off while I was still asking for clarification. The guy said run for 20 minutes, then turn around. That should give you 5 miles.

WHAT? That’s an 8-minute mile. I had asked before showing up and the guy who sponsors the group told me they were doing a 10-11 minute pace.

There were stringy, lanky young men there who were running very quickly. I couldn’t help but notice them waaaaay over there on the horizon as they were leading the bottleneck going into the woods before I even stepped on the trail from the parking lot. Beginners? Eight-minute miles?

I was still asking where the turning point was for 5 miles. Give me a landmark or something. I didn’t even have a watch on because silly girl here thought the group sort of ran within shouting distance of each other. He said I just needed to follow the yellow dots, which were spray painted every quarter of a mile. By this point I was in last place by several minutes.

The yellow dots were there for the first mile. Then the route turned and the trail I was on had been flooded. No dots. I knew what they looked like. I had seen them on the first leg. They were indeed difficult to miss.

On the new leg of the trail, nothing. No dots. I thought surely I had run at least a quarter of a mile. I overtook one person. She said, “You can’t miss them” and that’s when I knew I was doomed.

I ran and I ran and I ran. Every so often I became a little more angry. I haven’t run long enough to know what 5 miles feels like. It was an out and back course and I tell you at least 20 people left, but I only saw about a dozen people come back. So I kept running thinking that they must have really slowed down a lot to not have looped back on me already.

Then I got frustrated because I do not have enough experience yet to know what 5 miles feels like. I think I would know a 5-mile walk, but not a run. Not yet. It’s early days. Come to find out, I did do almost 5 miles so maybe I’m beginning to pick up cues.

Or maybe I just turned around because the path was getting dark, I was on a trail through a heavily forested area, there were no other runners in sight and I had been passed by several teenaged boys, one who decided to say “hi” as the rode past me two times.

This group obviously wasn’t interested in looking out for each other, either. No one said a word to me as they looped back. I did say to one runner that I wasn’t seeing the yellow dots, thinking perhaps he could tell me that they had washed away or were covered in mud or at least that it wasn't my imagination. He just said, “Oh.”

What does that even mean?

The 4.36 miles didn’t take a whole lot of physical effort while I was running, so maybe I was phoning it in. But when I got back to my car it was very close to being an hour later.

Folks, I can walk 4.36 miles in an hour.

That’s when my frustration turned to this aggressive, ticked-off, get-out-of-my-way mood I am in today. Being at work is only making it worse.

I ate a handful of Skittles, but that didn’t do any good.

Also, if you are a fellow blogger, you may have noticed that I haven’t been commenting as much as usual. I’ve been reading, but mostly in huge chunks. I enjoy training, but I have to admit that it sort of sucks the physical and mental energy out of me.

Dirty dishes? Check
Load of wrinkled clothes? Check
Dusty furniture? Check
Chocolate milk in my fridge? Checkity-check

The chocolate milk is a sure sign I am training. I get to drink right out of the carton now that the weekend is over and my grandkids have had as much as I am going to share with them! Anyway, training is fun in its own stupid, scary way. Last night was not fun and I am grumpy.

But I run again tomorrow: 5 miles with hill repeats. I’m looking forward to it because there are for sure no yellow dots in my neighborhood.


Carver said...

That running group would make me aggressive. What's the point of running with a group if they aren't supportive or looking out for each other. Oh well. I hope it gets better.

Rose said...

Anyone like that would make me aggressive...how in the world did that many unfriendly people get together?

The man/people that just bought our daughters house...daughter's hubby had to sign early on his way to work, and when she went to do the rest of the closing...the guy that bought the house would not look at her, would not speak...just totally, totally weird. It was like he was mad at her...

A piece of news said...

I can't fathom someone being so angry in that situation, Rose. I guess you just can't get a glimpse into a person. I have pondered anger for about 4 years now, turning it this way and that, thinking over what it does and where it comes from and why it seems so prevalent. I may never know.